Posted by: runawaynotes | March 9, 2013

The latest contender for “the most sucktastic run ever” title

I have almost certainly had worse runs than the one this morning. I just can’t think of any right now. Oh my God! This run SUCKED! And it was ironic (in the Alanis Morissette sense of the word) for two reasons. One, the last couple of weeks have been actually pretty good. I did Trinity Levee 10K in 55:45. I allowed myself to fall back from 2:00 pace group to 2:05 group on Tuesday nights when we do our speed work, and that has made a huge difference as well. I was back to feeling good about running. And two, I don’t remember ever hitting the wall during my marathon. But I sure hit one today.

It was just as people describe it – that feeling of weariness when you just can’t think about going forward. Your mind is screaming at you to stop, and your body tells you it hates your. And that was at less than 10 mile mark! I mean, how crazy is that?! I knew from the very beginning that this run was not going to be my best one. It was 60 degrees and super humid when I walked out the door this morning. And I’ve already established that humidity is my Achilles heel. Then we took White Rock trail up to Lakewood and had to climb that hill on Winsted, and I just never could regain my composure after that. It started as a stitch in my side, then my upper back and shoulders locked up in a spasm, and my legs just turned into two boiled noodles.

I should have dropped back and stayed with 2:05 group while I still had a chance, but I decided to stick it out. By the time we made it to Swiss avenue, I was counting minutes till next water stop. I felt like I just couldn’t get my body under control: my breath was heavy and uneven, that stitch just wouldn’t go away, I couldn’t release the tension in my shoulders. Usually I can get pretty distracted by talking to someone else or listening to the music, and the miles just fly by (at least until they hit double digits). This time I was aware of every single mile. And they couldn’t pass fast enough.

By mile 9.5 I just couldn’t do it anymore. I could not keep up. Thankfully, I knew where I was, so I wouldn’t have to wonder around strange neighborhoods trying to find my way back to my car. As I fell back, I mentally resigned to the fact that I just might have to walk the last three miles. The last couple of miles of any run are usually pretty hard mentally anyway. You are tired, hungry, sweaty, you know this neighborhood so well that you can tell the exact distance from one tree to another. Nothing fun or exciting is going to happen anymore, so the only thought on your mind is “OMG, I can’t believe I still have 25 minutes of THIS left”.

The only reason why I didn’t end up walking was because one of my fellow runners, Stacey, stayed back with me and kept me going. It’s not the first time that I’ve had someone pull me through a rough run. Various people have stuck with me though hill training, miserable speed work, and of course the last few miles of my marathon. And it never seizes to amaze me what a difference it makes to have someone by your side when you are trying to tell that voice in your head to shut up and force your body to keep moving forward for just a few more minutes. Even though I’ve probably stopped at every single water fountain from the spillway all the way to Poppy, I still finished my last two miles running (well, more like jogging painfully slowly, but still not walking). And when I finally stopped, I felt like I was going to get sick to my stomach right there on the side of the road.

So, what is my takeaway from today’s experience? Well, one – spring is definitely coming and running is going to get tough. Two – it doesn’t matter how fast or how far you ran last last month, last week, or even yesterday; you can still have a craptastic run today. And three – sometimes just knowing that you are not running alone can help you push through. So, thanks Stacey!

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Responses

  1. We have all been there! Crappy runs are universal. Saturday was both humid and windy (wind is my own personal nemesis).


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